Share prices for 9 out of 10 leading life insurers edged down last week, the declines mirroring a slide in the major market indexes.
That’s the key takeaway for this third installment of a weekly LifeHealthPro analysis of the stock performance of 10 leading publicly held life insurers. The 10 companies are the same as those featured in an August 21 LifeHealthPro story listing the top 10 life insurers based on their second quarter net income.
For the week ending Sept. 26, all but one of the companies — Aflac, which gained 9 cents, closing at $58.50 —experienced share price declines over the five days.
Prudential Financial was worst performer for the week, the company’s shares dropping by $2.48 to close on Friday at $90.05. Ameriprise Financial’s stock also lost over two dollars, falling $2.08 to end the week at $124.14. The dip reversed a two-week rise for Ameriprise, which was among the top three performers last week.
Insurers whose shares slid by more than a dollar included MetLife (down $1.61) and Unum (off $1.16). Other stocks among the Top 10 that lost value included:
Retreating in tandem with the Top 10 were several major indices. Over the five days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 158.56 points to close at 17,113.15.
The S&P 500 edged down 26.23 points. The NASDAQ composite index dipped 56.26 points. And the iShares Russell 2000 index fell 2.32, closing the week at 111.12.
Investors’ appetite for equities in the wake of the market’s slide may have diminished on news about the economy. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dipped in September following an upswing in August. The index now stands at 86 points on a 100-point scale, off from 93.4 score recorded in August. The Conference Board’s Present Situation Index also slid 89.4 points from 93.9. And its Expectations Index dropped to 83.7 points from 93.1 in August.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board attributed the index’s retreat in September to a “less positive assessment of the current job market,” the latter a consequence of a “softening” of the economy.